Man sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempting to entice a 14-year-old boy on Craigslist

LOUISIANA -- A Slidell teenager was in for quite a surprise after she decided to sell a stolen cell phone to an undercover Slidell Police officer.
File Photo / WZTV

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma City man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in federal prison for attempting to entice a minor to have sex.

A judge sentenced Harry Dean Wheeler Jr., 68, of Oklahoma City, to 120 months in prison. Upon release from prison, he must serve five years on supervised release. He must also pay a $5,000 special assessment pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint, an undercover agent with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs posted an ad on Craigslist on Sept. 19, 2017, in which he claimed to be a boy looking for a “daddy” who would be “willing to teach me about sex.” The affidavit explained that through the Craigslist email reply function, Wheeler used explicit sexual language to indicate he wanted to meet the boy for a sexual encounter. Wheeler also included three nude photos of himself.

According to the affidavit, the undercover agent responded: “Wow, your [sic] hot and sound really cool. Just to get it out of the way, I’m 14, but I’m very mature for my age, that’s why I don’t mind older guys.” The affidavit stated Wheeler then replied by email: “We must keep it a secret as what we will be doing is not legal.” Wheeler allegedly arranged to meet the person he thought was a 14-year-old boy in the parking lot of a business at 5501 North May Ave. in Oklahoma City with the intention of driving him to his own residence. When Wheeler arrived at the parking lot and identified himself to the undercover agent as “daddy,” federal agents arrested him.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Wheeler on Sept. 21, 2017. On Nov. 8, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted him on one count of using a facility and means of interstate commerce to attempt to persuade, induce and entice an individual he believed to be under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity. On Dec. 7, 2017, Wheeler pleaded guilty to that offense before U.S. District Judge Timothy D. DeGiusti.